Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville clashed on Monday night football as they debated who is better out of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Neville argued in favour of his former United team-mate, while Carragher vouched for Messi based on his ability to run a game as a playmaker.
The two veteran forwards stand clear in almost all individual footballing records with Messi having a record six Ballon d'Ors and Ronaldo five for himself.
Meanwhile, they both now have international trophies under their belt after Messi's Argentina lifted the Copa America earlier this summer and Ronaldo inspired Portugal at the Euros in 2016.
Neville explained his reasoning for having Ronaldo as the greatest player ever by saying: "I do think he is the greatest football that’s ever lived.
"He’s shaking his head with that [Carragher] and I do think he’s the greatest player that’s ever lived that is not a bias, that is just me answering a question on who I think I would want trust to win me a football match most in the msot different way, who is the most complete player.
"If you add to that, the fact that you’ve got Messi’s goals and Ronaldo’s goals and it comes down to this there is no doubt that Messi has scored an obscene amount of goals, ridiculous player.
"The three big differences for me [with Ronaldo] apart from the wrong footed goals and headers where Ronaldo’s scored four, five times more, 30-40 percent more penalties.
"It took me to a point where he was more complete in terms of the most important part of the game. To the last part which tips it over the edge is that international record of the most international goals ever.
"The fact that he’s won five Champions League’s with teams as good as Messi’s team.
"The Ballon d’Or’s are similar, Messi has won more league titles but I just feel the international goals record and the Champions League’s [five to Messi’s three] aligned with the variety of goals, although they’re very similar, takes me to believe he’s the greatest footballer of all time."
Who is the greatest player of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? Let us know in the comments section below.
Former Liverpool defender Carragher disagreed, however, and responded with his explanation for why Messi is the best footballer in history.
"He’s not. No one’s not a huge fan of Ronaldo or Messi. Ronaldo is not the greatest player of all time [who is it then?] I’m going to say it’s his mate here.
"The reason I’d say that is you’re talking about the difference and type of goals, he scored different goals, it doesn’t matter how a ball goes in the net.
"Messi has a better goal record than Ronaldo. Messi is a playmaker, Messi can run a game. Ronaldo can’t do that – again not a criticism.
"But no way in the world he’s the greatest player of all time. You talk about who do you want coming off the bench, Messi scored double coming off the bench than Ronaldo so that’s ridiculous what you’ve just said coming off the bench because he can score different types of goals, it doesn’t matter, even if Messi just scores with his left-foot it’s who’s got more chance of scoring from the bench and the stats prove Messi scores more coming off the bench than Ronaldo.
"So two absolutely wonderful players. What Ronaldo does, as you’ve mentioned headers, free-kicks, scoring whatever, I totally agree, in terms of a complete player doing things Messi couldn’t in terms of the weak foot or in the air.
"But Messi as a player can take you to a place where you can’t believe. What Ronaldo does is do things other players can do, you see him score a great header – you’ve seen it before – heading, running, Messi can do things we’ve never seen before.
"The assists and running the game from that position and it’s close and there’s that debate but in terms of goal scoring that is not right.
"There’s been a lot of fan fair with all the ex-players but you’ve just got a little carried away."
The pair then continued to argue over the debate as Neville replied by saying: "I don’t think you can say that, and you got carried away there saying there’s no way you can say he’s the greatest player of all time it’s definitely Messi."
Only for Carragher to interject with: “But you’re using goals, he hasn’t scored more goals than Messi."
Neville then continued: "There are a lot of people who say Ronaldo and a lot of people who say Messi, I won’t say anyone who’s chosen Messi is wrong that’s their opinion.
"I just thought this morning, define greatness who would you bring off the bench if you could choose any player from history to win you the game with 10 minutes to go, I would choose Ronaldo."
Carragher was unimpressed and asked: "Hang on, you’ve just called him the greatest player of all time so why can’t Manchester United win the title now?"
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To which Neville explained by stating: "Because I said before I don’t think the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo at 36 as a penalty box striker, which is what he is, I don’t think he’ll make them a complete enough team to win the league.
"If he was seven or eight years younger and was basically still at the level he was at Real Madrid I believe he would be able to take them to the title or the Champions League."
Between the two of them, Neville and Carragher were unable to settle the debate as to who is the greatest player of all time between Ronaldo and Messi but at least provided viewers with an entertaining row.
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